Yesterday in part one, I explained why wondering or questioning whether a man is going to leave his wife or girlfriend for you can put you in a precarious position because it means that the way that the ‘affair’ is playing out is not giving you enough confidence to believe that he will leave her and be with you. This is especially the case if you have to keep wondering and keep asking – it suggests that whatever is being said and happening is not enough. It suggests he’s not leaving…
Last week I wrote about Lovenomics: Managing your desire to be the exception, which was about how we choose to get caught up in illusions and believe that our relationships are being governed by exceptions and anomalies because we desperately want to be believe that our situation is different; that we are exceptions to the rule. There is no greater example of this than in the cheating situation.
Now I want to say – It is not the case that men never leave their wives or girlfriends to be with the ‘Other Woman’ but they are the exception, not the rule.
There are a few key assumptions that I believe women who go into ‘relationships’ with the cheater work off that I talk about extensively in my ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl and these fuel the question and desire for him to leave:
1) If a man is prepared to risk his existing relationship in order to be with you, he must be crazy about you.
A lot of cheaters get off on taking risks and playing truant on their relationships. They don’t like the normality that comes with the steadiness of a relationship or the wants, needs, and expectations that arise from it, so they seek their thrills elsewhere. Sometimes you’re like something they’ve just got to have but they haven’t really thought past winning you over to the bit where you expect them to follow through on their ardent pursuit – read my post about what you can learn about cheating and cheaters from the Tiger Woods saga.
2) If a man has got married or has a girlfriend it shows that he’s capable of commitment which in turn makes him a good catch.
The fact that someone will cheat shows their lack of commitment plus this is a blind assumption based on another assumption, that all people get into relationships for the right reasons and are committed.
3) The reason why he can’t let go of you is because he finds you irresistible.
Men who genuinely want to be with you and who have real trust, care, love, and respect, don’t try to resist you in the wider sense. They sort their lives out to be with you properly, sooner, rather than later.
4) You’re only taking on the ‘other woman’ role as a temporary position with the goal of being the main woman.
This is basically like giving someone a ‘try before you buy’ option. You’re in the position of trying to prove yourself in the hope that one day, you’ll create the impetus for him to leave. Unfortunately the guy who will cheat on an ongoing basis and tie you up in a litany of whines and excuses about his ‘situation’, interprets the fact that you’ll be with him in spite of his other relationship, suggests that you have little or no boundaries and that you’ll be there anyway. He basically assumes he can ‘handle’ the situation should you create conflict.
5) If a man cheats it’s because there is something wrong with the relationship and/or his wife or girlfriend.
Some people actually cheat because things are going ‘too’ well and they need to rebel. If someone doesn’t want to be committed, they will behave as they like, irrespective of whether they were with the Most Perfect Person on Earth.
6) They’re only deceiving the wife/girlfriend whilst being honest with you.
Both of you have to be lied to, to maintain the deception.
7) The ‘other woman’ gives the cheater what he’s missing from his ‘main’ relationship.
Snatched moments and compartmentalised time is not the same as being in a full time, committed out in the open relationship with all of the attendant reality and pressures that come with it. There’s a reason why the saying ‘best of both worlds’ exists!
8) Some relationship with this man is better than no relationship at all.
This is like saying that crumbs is better than nothing because you’ve managed down your expectations into nothing and have got trapped by your own feelings.
As I said earlier, some men do leave their wives/girlfriends to be with the ‘other woman’ but it is the exception, not the norm. The reality is that:
You both need to be on the same page.
Two people who have found themselves crazy about each other in spite of the fact that one of them has some unfinished business to attend to, will get their situation sorted. They take a leap of faith and proverbially move heaven and earth to be with other. They accept that of course there will be some pain and hurt but that they want to be honest with integrity which is better than staying and cheating and pretending they have integrity.
More often than not, no matter what is being said, the actions in the relationship show that the ‘Other Woman’ and the cheater are not on the same page because she’s trying to take things to the next level whilst he’s trying to maintain the status quo.
Why create more drama when you can have the best of both worlds and not be committed to either person?
If he is not being honest with you either and you’re regularly finding out that he’s been telling you porkies via the dripfeed manoeuvre, how can you trust this person to act in your interests and to do as says that he will?
The longer that the deception goes on for is the less likely that he’s going to leave.
Even if he does eventually leave, it’s often the case that he’s not all that he’s cracked up to be, transferring a wealth of problems in your direction. Or….he goes to someone else, something I come across far too often.
For many of you, you’ll be in limbo land. No matter what you suspect is the likely outcome, you’ll opt to stick with the situation and take a massive gamble. You’ll hope to be the exception and hope that fate, the alignment of the planets, fortune cookies etc deal you a favourable outcome.
Even if you have a goal in mind, at some point, you’ll totally normalise the situation and what was originally upsetting and unacceptable becomes your new normality with your managed down expectations because you won’t see a way out.
For those of you still asking him:
1) Make sure that when you have any discussions that they are definitive rather than being wishy washy. A lot of the women I hear from don’t ask direct questions (they think they do though) because they are afraid of hearing bad news or pushing him too far. He needs to be pushed. Better you know where you stand now than find yourself still doing the same thing and having the same conversations in the years to come – read my post on Women Who Talk & Think Too Much syndrome.
2) Be careful of setting deadlines. In fact, you should only set a deadline if he has said that he intends on leaving. I appreciate that you want to get the ball rolling but do not set deadlines that you are not going to follow through on. I am telling you from experience and no matter how much you yell and scream, if you’re still with them afterwards, you look silly and he knows he doesn’t have to leave. Make the deadline realistic but not so long that it loses any meaning. Make sure you gain agreement, be clear on the terms, and be even clearer that it’s over if he doesn’t follow through. 3-6 months is optimum – the shorter the time, the better.
3) If you’ve been asking a lot, stop asking and be a woman of action. If you genuinely don’t want to share this man, don’t share him, and he’ll see that there are consequences and that if he wants to be with you, he has to man up. You are doing yourself a big favour in the long run.
The best thing that you can do is believe in yourself – tell him to come back when he’s free to be with you. That may be never, but it’s better than waiting forever.
If being with someone who is attached is against your core values and forces you to make a rapid departure from who you are, sidelining yourself and living on the fringes and in secret from friends and family, opt out now. If loving him means that you can’t love yourself, choose you.
4) Remember that if their marriage/relationship is not working and they say it as over anyway, they are leaving for that reason, not just because of you. It’s important to remember this because should they leave, the worst types will keep throwing it at you that they only left because you told them to or do the whole ‘I left her for you so you should be grateful’ type thing, or even worse ‘You know how you met me! Why are you surprised that I’m sleeping with X, Y, and Z?’. Some people need a catalyst to leave and can’t end relationships on the basis of it not working – they need to have someone to go to. Tell them you’re be there when they leave and give them space to sort themselves out.
Remember: That fear that many ‘other women’ have that if they leave he’ll think they don’t care or find someone else is misplaced. If you’re worried that he’ll replace you with someone else to cheat with, it suggests he’s worth leaving…
This relationship cannot be just on his terms. Just like he expects you trust in him, he’ll have to trust that you’ll be there when he’s got his sh*t sorted out.
5) Make sure you know what you want before you go down this road.
If you’re OK with being with someone who has a wife/girlfriend, and particularly if it’s not the first time, you need to address your own issues with emotional unavailability and second best syndrome:
“…believing that there is somebody better than you or assuming relationship roles that place you in a starting position below one so that you have to fight your way to pole position. At some point in your life, you’ve decided that you come a poor second around those whom you seek love and validation from.” Source – my ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl
Likewise though, it’s also important to be honest with yourself because some people are more comfortable being a mistress than others. If you’re going to complain but stay anyway, I’d stop having the redundant discussions.
One thing I do know is don’t be blind to the situation and make her ‘real’ – someone else who believes in him or what they have with feelings. Any assumptions you can make about her (particularly in an ongoing situation), you can effectively make them about yourself because you are both with someone who is being duplicitous which means you’re both dining off illusions.
Is he going to leave his wife/girlfriend for you? If he hasn’t told you he will and isn’t already making it happen and keeping you in the loop, I wouldn’t go holding your breath. Either way, be careful what you wish for.
Back in part two